Saturday, August 24, 2013


            Raksha Bandhan, (the bond of protection) or Rakhi is the popular practice of Raksha Bandhan has its historical associations also. The Rajput queens practised the custom of sending rakhi threads to neighboring rulers as token of brotherhood. The central ceremony involves the tying of a rakhi (sacred thread) by a sister on her brother's wrist. This symbolizes the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well-being, and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her. The festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Poornima) of the Shravan month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar. One Islamic Scholar believes that Raksha Bandhan grew in popularity after Rani Karnavati, the widowed queen of Chittor, sent a rakhi to the Mughal emperor Humayun when she required his help. Since Indian kinship practices give cousins a status similar to siblings, girls and women often tie the rakhi to their male cousins as well (referred to as "cousin-brothers" in regional parlance) in several communities. Unrelated boys and men who are considered to be brothers (munh-bola bhai or adopted brothers) can be tied rakhis, provided they commit to a lifelong obligation to provide protection to the woman or girl.

            Swanirvar also trying to popularized Rakhi in the Govt primary schools in Deganga, Swarupnagar and Baduria Blocks of North 24 Parganas. We give them the raw materials of Rakhi and also gave hand held trainings on Rakhi making. The students made the rakhis and later they use these in their own school on Rakhi day on 21st August, 2013. Our main objective was to gospel brotherhood, love and humanity amongst the students through this Rakhi utsab. Another aspect was to organize a small cultural fest in each school and through this the students performed dances, drama, songs mostly composed by their own. This helped to boost up their level of creative skills. This year we gave materials to 94 Govt primary schools of Deagnaga and Baduria Blocks. Special focus was to the students of the 60 Sishu Siksha Kendra (Govt. Primary) of Deganga Blocks.  The students were either from schedule caste/ tribes families or minority families and mostly 1st generation learner and were from the families living below the poverty line. This year we organised Rakhi in 94 Govt Primary schools in which 10712 students participated.
Recently new local Govt had been formed at the Gram Panchayat level. Rate of Political violence and crimes were much higher in West Bengal as compared to other states of India. This year Baduria and Deganga had seen a number of blood-sheds, crimes and vandalisms by political hooligans before and after the elections. The political leaders were motivating common people to be suspicious about the cops and even in some cases the mobs attacked the police forces and damaged their vehicles and also assaulted the policemen. To reduce the tension we also organized a RAKHI BANDHAN utsab cum small cultural programme in the campus of Baduria Police Station on 21st August, 2013. 15 underprivileged students from different localities  of Baduria and Deganga Blocks came to Baduria Police station along with the staff and teachers of Swanirvar Primary Education department. The police officers and staff participated in that programme under the leadership of Mr. kollol Ghosh, Officer In Charge of Baduria PS. The students tied Rakhis to their hands and also performed some dance programmes in the campus. Mr. Ghosh preside the programme and also gave sweet boxes to all the students and also encouraged them to live with dignity and humanity. This was widely covered by the leading news papers of West Bengal and also the news were circulated in different TV channels.  
Reported by,
Prosanto Mondal & Julkalam Ali, Swanirvar

Friday, August 9, 2013


          Swanirvar staff took ‘Environmental Studies’ classes in 11 High schools on regular basis. We also gave part time inputs in 51 High schools. One of the major issues we deal with them was ‘Safe drinking Water’. Our project areas are having plenty rains amongst Indian Territory. But most of the ground water is arsenic contaminated. People are dependent on Pipe-water supplied by the local Government. We started mass awareness with students on safe water, water conservation and arsenicosis. Students arranged rally and also paste posters in different village notice boards (these notice boards are used as information kiosk in villages and developed by KKB team of Swanirvar). During their survey on safe drinking water, the student noticed that major portions of supplied water were being waste during the distribution process. There were no proper stop systems and due to the lack of funnels a portion of water was being unutilized during the filling the pots.
            Students of Bhojpara BMSF institution immediately brought these to the notice of the ‘safe water committee’ run by the students of the said institute. They identified 6 water collection centers. They raised money and purchased funnels and made mass scale awareness to the villagers to stop the indiscriminate use of drinking water. Local villagers were happy with this initiative and they had reduced the misuse of drinking water. They also aware on arsenic contamination in ground water and not using those tube wells which had alarming level of arsenic contamination .
           Inspiring by this, KKB youths of Beliakhali village took major initiative in ‘safe drinking water campaign’. This village was arsenic prone village and many villagers were suffering from arsenicosis. Once the name of the village was raised the UN meeting by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on arsenic problems. Local Panchayat authority installed a number of deep tubewell in that village to ensure the supply of safe- arsenic free drinking water under the financial assistance of UNDP. One tube well was out of order and local authority was not paying attention to repair it. The students committee met the Panchayat members and got permission to repair by their own. They visited door to doors and raised funds. Finally they repaired the tube well and at present the villagers were getting safe water.

Reported By,
Sourendra Nath Sen